Home cooking challenge: You have 30 minutes. Begin.

Chopped-Style Home Cooking Challenge

Ready? Open your basket. You take out a fish you’ve never cooked before, a breakfast food, a curry paste, and a couple of small turnips. You have 30 minutes to cook dinner. Begin…

Since I’m hooked on the cooking show Chopped, I decided to try a Chopped-style challenge at home. (See the bottom of this post for information on how you get in on the action.)

My husband picked up four mystery ingredients and kept them secret from me, and I had to feature them in a meal that I cooked in 30 minutes.

I gave him these guidelines on what four ingredients to pick up:

  1. meat/seafood or other protein
  2. vegetable or fruit
  3. starch/carb
  4. candy bar/candy or unique sauce or unique condiment (something unusual in other words)

I could also use ingredients from my pantry and fridge, but I had to feature the basket ingredients.

I served breaded catfish with Thai curry sauce over mashed turnips.

(Video link)

How’d I do?

I did pretty well. The catfish tasted delicious, and I used the required ingredients. My kids gobbled it up with more enthusiasm than they show for most of my carefully planned meals. On the other hand, I finished early, and I wasn’t creative. In the TV show, they look for creative transformation of the ingredients. I also found it difficult to start cooking right away under time pressure.

Do you like to cook? Compete with me!

This was so much fun, and I’d like to add a competitive element. My husband picked out four new mystery ingredients, and you could try it yourself. Email me at marcy@tootimidandsqueamish.com, and I will email you a link to the new mystery ingredients. You will need an assistant to shop for you and keep the ingredients secret. Then, shoot your video and post it to YouTube (or wherever). Share your link back with me, and we’ll have people vote on the winner based on presentation, taste, and creativity.

I think it would be especially fun to see what people who live in different parts of the world do with the new mystery ingredients. (I am in the Northeastern U.S.) I’ll let you know about deadlines once I see how many people are interested.

Please spread the word to anyone who would like to compete in a home cooking challenge.

P.S. I am just a fan, and I am not affiliated with Chopped or the Food Network.

P.P.S. 18 Signs You Are Obsessed with “Chopped”

101 things in 1001 days 



About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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13 Responses to Home cooking challenge: You have 30 minutes. Begin.

  1. All my meals are masterpieces of “whatever I have on hand. ” Isn’t everybody’s like that? No? You mean … people really plan meals?
    Marilyn Armstrong recently posted..MY WINDOW, MY WORLDMy Profile

  2. This sounds like a lot of fun. My husband loves chopped but he’s not really that kitchen savvy. I would be afraid to eat what he concocted.
    Michelle Matthews-DeLorge recently posted..35 Is The New 25My Profile

  3. I enjoy your cooking challenges. I’m not creative when it comes to food, but that’s okay. None of the other residents at my house would appreciate creativity. Except the dog if it meant he could eat the rejects.
    that cynking feeling recently posted..Ten Things of Thankful #30My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I know what you mean. One of my sons likes things that are mild (bland?), so I am always careful about adding a lot of spices or new flavors.

  4. TriGirl says:

    I thought that was great! You were a natural on video and it was really fun to watch! Plus your meal seemed like a hit 😀
    TriGirl recently posted..This *is* a Triathlon Blog…isn’t it?My Profile

  5. Love this! I would have been flummoxed by the turnip. I had no idea you can boil and mash them in such a short time…maybe I need to cook more…
    That Unique* Weblog recently posted..*Neon Fireflies* Takes the Edge OffMy Profile

  6. Stephanie says:

    I am not a confident meal preparer, so this experiment would probably fail horribly. But, I should probably try it anyway because it sounds fun! Stressful but fun!

  7. Abby says:

    Chopped? I’ve never heard of it! I like to watch cooking shows, but then I rarely act on them. I like the mystery challenge, though. I can just tell the family, “It’s a game! Just play along!”

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